Reusable face masks to be distributed by Montreal area public transit next week
As the city gradually reopens, public transit networks across the Montreal region will begin distributing tens of thousands of face masks to transit users in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Last week, Quebec Premier François Legault promised to give $6 million to public transit networks for them to purchase masks.
The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) will distribute 235,000 reusable masks starting on Monday and through the end of June. Distribution will begin within the metro network, notably at the busiest stations and in areas that have been harder hit by COVID-19. Another 10,000 masks will be sent by mail to people who rely on the STM's adapted transportation services.
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Similar to the STM, The Société de transport de Laval (STL) will begin distributing 15,000 reusable masks to its users on Monday. The network will hand them out at the Montmorency and Cartier terminals during peak hours, and there will be a daily limit. The STL will also be reserving 1,000 for adapted transit users, which will be sent by mail.
Exo will also distribute thousands of reusable face masks starting next week. The network plans to rotate its distribution between its busiest sites between Monday and mid-June. More than 20 sites have been considered for distribution, notably, the Centre-Ville and Mansfield, Angrignon, Vaudreuil, Chambly and Candiac terminals, as well as Lucien-L’allier, Vendôme, De la Concorde, Sauvé, centrale and Bois-Franc. Exo will also be reserving masks for adapted transit users.
Transit networks may roll out alternative distribution methods – depending on the situation in the province as well as the supply of masks – to reach a total of around 1.5 million masks distributed in and around Montreal in the next few months.
Quebec Premier François Legault has asked transit users who are capable of purchasing their own masks to do so, to make sure those who don’t have the means can benefit from a free one.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2020.